Reverse fan in winter

Does Your Ceiling Fan Reverse?

It has become well-known that changing the direction of your ceiling fan at the beginning of the summer and winter months will help improve your heating and cooling circulation and keep costs down, but it’s easier said than done. Older model ceiling fans may not have a reverse function and ceiling fans are still sold today without this feature. We’ve put together a handy guide for you to understand how to locate the switch on the ceiling fan motor (if there is one) and ensure proper rotation of your ceiling fan blades.

Follow the step-by-step guide and video tutorial below to determine if your ceiling fan can be reversed and how to change ceiling fan direction:

  • Locating the Ceiling Fan Swtich
  • Ceiling Fans with Remote Reverse Control
  • Changing Blade Pitch
  • Why Do We Reverse Fan Direction?

Ceiling Fan Switch Direction – Up or Down?

Locate the direction switch on the motor housing (in some cases, the switch may be located inside the switch housing or switch cup), and flip the switch in the opposite direction. Directional switches may move vertically (up and down) or horizontally (side to side from left to right).

Note: If you do not find a switch on the motor housing and you do not have a remote, please jump to how to change your blade pitch below.

For vertical direction switches, flip the switch down for downward airflow or flip the switch up for upward airflow.

For horizontal direction switches, flip the switch to the left for downward airflow or flip the switch to the right for upward airflow.

Use the steps below or the video below to change the direction of your ceiling fan:

  1. Shut off the ceiling fan and wait for the blades to come to a complete stop
  2. Using a ladder or step stool to reach the motor housing, locate the direction switch
  3. Flip the switch in the opposite direction
  4. Step down and turn the ceiling fan back on
  5. Verify the ceiling fan blades are moving in the right direction

Video Tutorial

Hi. I’m Colby with Del Mar Fans and Lighting and I’m here to show you how to reverse your ceiling fan.

Reverse direction for a ceiling fan is a clockwise motion producing an updraft. In the winter, when your heater is running, reversing your ceiling fan moves warm air near the ceiling down to the floor. This greatly reduces your energy use and can lower your energy bills by as much as 15 percent. You will need a ladder or a step stool to reach the motor housing. Turn off your ceiling fan and locate the direction switch on the motor housing. This one is here, sometimes they are on the top of the motor housing. Make sure your fan has come to a complete stop before flipping the direction switch in the opposite direction. Now turn your fan back on and enjoy. Many ceiling fans include remote controls with the reverse button. Other fans include wall controls with the reverse function.

Leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions. Thanks for checking us out. Head over to our Facebook page and like us for exclusive fan and lighting giveaways. See you next time.


  • Step Ladder

Products Used

  • For this video, we used a Minka Aire Supra Ceiling Fan.
  • If the ceiling fan blades are rotating correctly, you should feel a cool downward airflow in the summer. However, you should feel no air movement in the winter. You can reverse the direction of your outdoor ceiling fans, as well as your low profile ceiling fan.

    How to Reverse Your Ceiling Fan with a Remote

    Reversing your fan using your remote control is pretty simple. View the infographic below for more details.

    Reversing the direction of your ceiling fan is a budget-friendly and eco-friendly way to make your home feel warmer in the fall and winter months. An easy way to remember is to reverse your fan during Daylight Savings Time when you reverse your clocks.

    What If Your Fan Does Not Reverse?

    If you have an older ceiling fan without a reversible motor, you could adjust the blade pitch to reverse the airflow. Adjust the blade pitch to the right to push air down. Adjust the blade pitch to the left to pull air up. Or you could upgrade to a ceiling fan that reverses from the remote!

    Shop Reverse From Remote Ceiling Fans

    Why Should We Reverse Fan Direction?

    As temperatures drop during the fall and winter months, energy costs begin to rise just as steadily. Call it coincidence. Call it symbiotic. Call it what you will, but the additional energy used to heat a home can quickly add up to a hefty bill. Read our Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s guide to proper ceiling fan direction to see which direction your fan should be going and how ceiling fan direction can save you money on your energy bill.

    Ceiling Fan Direction FAQs

What Direction Should a Ceiling Fan Turn? Summer & Winter

Ceiling fans are the must-have home appliance for summer, but did you know that ceiling fans are also handy in the fall and winter? Changing the direction of your ceiling fan in the summer and winter not only makes you feel comfy, but it also allows you to adjust the thermostat and give your AC or heating unit a much needed break (your wallet will also get some much-needed rest, trust us). Here’s everything you need to know about changing your ceiling fan direction and how it can help you save.

  • How to Video
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • How to Reverse
  • Shop Bestselling Ceiling Fans

    Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer & Winter Video

    Hi, I’m Colby from Del Mar Fans & Lighting and I’m here to talk to you about ceiling fan direction for summer and winter.

    During the summer, use your ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. The airflow directly underneath the ceiling fan should push down, creating a wind-chill effect, which is going to make you feel cool.

    Reversing your fan, to a clockwise direction, creates a gentle updraft, recirculating heat down.

    Did you find our ceiling fan direction video helpful? Leave a comment below and let us know. Thank you for joining us here at Del Mar Fans & Lighting

    Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan In The Summer

    • Cooling wind chill effect on your skin makes a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler.
    • Save up to 40% on air conditioning costs.
    • Reduce use of central or window air conditioning units.
    • Spend more time outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

    Reasons to Use Your Ceiling Fan In The Winter

    • Redistribution of warm air makes a room feel warm and more comfortable to you and your family.
    • Save up to 15% on heating costs.
    • Reduce the cost of heating fuel.
    • Reduce clutter and electric hazards due to space heaters and heating blankets.

    See This Month’s Deals

    Counterclockwise Fan Direction for Cool Summer Savings

    In the summer, ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down to the floor. The cool air evaporates perspiration and creates a wind chill effect, which makes you feel cooler without affecting the room temperature. This allows you to set the thermostat at a higher temperature without forfeiting comfort.

    So, how you can you tell if your ceiling fan direction is set for summer? Turn on the fan, stand directly under the fan blades and watch the blades rotate. The blades should move from the top left, then down to the right, and then back to the top. Looking for a more telltale sign? You should feel air movement while standing under the fan. If you do not feel air movement, the fan is spinning clockwise.

    Cooling comfort is just a small benefit of using a ceiling fan in the summer. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the summer can save as much as 40 percent on air conditioning bills.

    Don’t confine your comfort to the indoors. If you enjoy spending a sunny summer afternoon outside, choose an outdoor ceiling fan for your patio, porch, or favorite outdoor spot. An outdoor fan not only helps you keep cool, but it also keeps insects and other unwanted pests at bay.

    Shop Outdoor Ceiling Fans

    Clockwise Fan Direction for Warm Winter Comfort

    In the winter, ceiling fans should rotate clockwise at a low speed to pull cool air up. The gentle updraft pushes warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back the floor. This makes a room feel warmer, which allows you to lower the thermostat temperature and decrease the use of heating devices. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the winter can save as much as 15 percent on heating bills.

    So, how can you tell if your ceiling fan direction is set for winter? Turn on the ceiling fan, stand directly under the fan blades and watch the blades as they rotate. The blades should move like a clock’s hand – from the top to the right, then down to the left, and back to the top) at a low speed to pull cool air up.

    Exception: If your ceiling fan is mounted on a two-story cathedral or a vaulted ceiling, the fan is too high to create a discernible wind chill, and therefore, can stay in a counterclockwise setting all year round.

    How to Adjust the Direction of Your Fan

    Today, most ceiling fans include remote controls or wall controls that adjust the direction in which the fan blades rotate, which makes reversing your ceiling fan as simple as pressing a button. Press the forward button to set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise for the summer. Press the reverse button to set your fan to spin clockwise for the fall and winter. Remember to adjust your thermostat in order to save money and energy.

    Shop Remote Control Ceiling Fans

    If your ceiling fan does not include a wall or remote control, look for a toggle-switch on the motor housing just below the blades. Flip the switch to change the direction of the fan blades. For vertical switches, flip the switch down for summer direction (downward airflow) or flip the switch up for winter direction (upward airflow). For horizontal switches, flip the switch to the left for summer direction (downward airflow) or flip the switch to the right for winter direction (upward airflow).

    Shop Reversable Ceiling Fans


    Changing the direction of your ceiling fan not only guarantees year-round comfort, but also savings.

    If you would like to talk to one of our experts to help you find the perfect ceiling fan for your home, call us at 1-800-724-5501. We would be more than happy to help!

    Do you change your ceiling fan direction for summer and winter? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Our heating bills are astronomical this year, which makes us wonder, “Does reversing the ceiling fan help in winter?” Perhaps you’ve heard about this money-saving method and asked yourself, “What does reversing a ceiling fan do? As it turns out, this one simple trick can save you 10 percent on your monthly heating bill — here’s how it work.

Why do you reverse ceiling fans in the winter?

It’s best to have fans move in a counterclockwise motion during the summer because it creates a windchill effect. This means that the fan’s blades push colder air down so it brushes against your skin and wicks away sweat, leaving you feeling cooler. In the winter, you reverse the direction your ceiling fan rotates so it draws up the cold air and pushes down the warmer air. Pretty simple, right?

As for the question of how reversing ceiling fan direction saves you money, the answer is that it allows you to keep the thermostat at a colder temperature without feeling the effects. Instead, you’ll be nice and toasty thanks to your fan that’s pushing warm air down to your level.

How much money will this save you in the end? A good rule of thumb is that you save three percent for every degree drop. That means you can lower your thermostat from a balmy 72 to 68 or 69 degrees and save roughly 10 percent on your bill without even feeling a difference in your home. Think about the gifts you can treat yourself to with that extra money. (We’ve got our eyes on a new jade roller!)

How to Reverse Ceiling Fans

You may want to check the instruction manual for your fan (if you still have it) to see how to reverse the direction it spins. There should be a switch on most models that allows you to quickly and easily change the rotation direction, but you may have to remove a few screws to reach it.

Another piece of advice is to leave your fan on the lowest setting so you don’t inadvertently create a windchill effect. However, you may need to up the power to the medium setting if you have a room with high or vaulted ceilings.

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Ceiling fan performance and energy savings rely heavily on the proper installation and use of the ceiling fan. Here are a few tips to ensure quality and product performance.

Note: consumers should read and understand manufacturer instructions before attempting to install a ceiling fan.

Choosing the Appropriate UL-Rated Electrical Box

Make sure that you use the appropriate UL-listed metal box, marked “For Use With Ceiling Fans.” This outlet box is mounted above the ceiling and also is the point where the fan is attached. This box houses all wiring needed to operate and connect the ceiling fan. If you are replacing a ceiling fixture, most likely you will need to replace the electrical box.

Mounting the Ceiling Fan

If possible, the ceiling fan should be anchored to a ceiling joist. In the case that the joist is not located in the center of the room, a special ceiling fan mounting bracket with spiked ends should be installed between joists. Keep in mind that ceiling fans can weigh as much as 50 pounds!

Balancing a Wobbly Fan

All fan blades should be balanced prior to shipment; however, if the fan is wobbly after installation, there are ways to fix it. First, make sure that all connections are properly aligned and tightly fastened. Check the alignment of the blades by holding a yardstick vertically along the edges; you may be able to gently bend a misaligned blade holder back into proper place. If all blades are aligned, a balancing kit can then be used to pinpoint the culprit. These kits are either provided within product packaging (e.g., balancing clips and blade weights) or can be sent by the manufacturer free of charge. View a video with tips on fixing a wobbly fan.

Turn Off When not in the Room

Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling fan to save energy.

Using the Ceiling Fan Year Round

In the summer, use the ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly under the ceiling fan you should feel a cool breeze. The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you “feel” cooler. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. Remember to adjust your thermostat when using your ceiling fan — additional energy and dollar savings could be realized with this simple step!

Ceiling Fan Direction for Winter and Summer

Everybody understands how a ceiling fan works in the summer, but it is not common knowledge that a ceiling fan can actually be used in the winter months as well. The way this works is relatively simple, during winter the fan operates in reverse. This helps distribute warm air around the room. In this PRO BLOG we take a look at how this works and the benefits, which include lowering your heating bills!

Exactly how does a ceiling fan in winter work?

During the winter months when it gets cold outside we generally use heating to increase the temperature within the house. This is achieved by means such as ducted heating solutions, fireplaces, freestanding heaters etc. Heat rises, which means that a lot of the warm air ends up rising up to ceiling level, leaving the lower portion of the room significantly cooler. This means that to achieve a warm living space you would generally need to turn up the heater even more. This is particularly a problem in rooms that have high ceilings.

If you have this problem a ceiling fan in reverse will assist greatly. When you put the ceiling fan in reverse it will no longer create the downward cooling effect. It will instead pull air upwards from the centre of the room and push it back down the walls. Take a look at the ceiling fan in reverse diagram below for more information. This results in a more stable temperature, instead of having extremes of hot and cold at the top and bottom of the room.

How to put your ceiling fan in reverse or winter mode?

This will vary from model to model. The vast majority of ceiling fans will have a switch on the side of the motor. This is usually labelled as forward and reverse or summer and winter. Simply flick the switch to engage the relevant rotation. Some newer models will have this reverse function built into the remote control (if one is supplied). It is recommended to check on each particular model to see how it can be reversed. Once in reverse mode the fan should rotate clockwise and generally the fan will only need to be set to a low speed, all you need to achieve is a gentle updraft for your ceiling fan to be effective this winter.

Use your ceiling fan in winter to save money!

By bringing the warm air down from ceiling level it means that you do not need to set your thermostat to be at such a high temperature to achieve a comfortable and warm environment. Ceiling fans are relatively inexpensive to run, especially when compared to power hungry heating solutions. If by using a ceiling fan in the winter it means you can drop your heater by a few degrees there is no doubt you will be making a saving on your energy costs. Whilst exact savings will vary it is not uncommon for a saving of up to 15% by using your fan in reverse.

Which Direction Should a Ceiling Fan go in Winter?

A ceiling fan should rotate clockwise in order for it to pull the air upwards.

Ceiling Fan in reverse benefits summary

  • Helps distribute heat more evenly throughout the room or living area
  • This results in a room that feels warmer and more comfortable
  • Means you may be able to lower your heater by a few degrees
  • Ceiling fans are generally low wattage which equates to an increase in efficiency

View our range of ceiling fans here

*Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of actual temperature levels. Actual temperatures will vary depending on external factors such as heat source, external temperature, insulation etc. The imagery is intended to illustrate the fact that a stable temperature can be achieved when using a fan in reverse

Published on 10th May 2016

There’s an energy tip you may have heard about using ceiling fans in the wintertime: run the fan blades in reverse and they’ll make a room feel warmer. But does this really work?

In summer, fan blades revolve so that they blow air downward. That makes the room feel cooler by pushing cool air near the floor to migrate outward and mix with air at the sides of the room. When you stand by the fan, you also feel a slight wind chill effect, which also adds to the cooling process. As a result, you lower the thermostat setting for your air conditioner. And because a ceiling fan doesn’t use much more electricity than a 100-watt incandescent light bulb, it’s a lot cheaper to operate than an air conditioner.

Now comes winter. Reverse the direction of a fan’s blades, keep the fan on its lowest setting, and the room air moves upward. (There’s usually a small button on the hub above the fan blades that controls the directions of the blades.) The fan blades move the air up toward the ceiling versus down toward the floor. That pushes hot air that normally travels to the ceiling to the sides of the room, where it mixes with slightly cooler air and produces a more even temperature. This process is thought to be more beneficial in rooms with high ceilings, such as a two-story foyer or a family room with a cathedral ceiling where heat naturally rises up. By running a fan, that heat is pushed back down to the lower half of the room. That helps prevent a warm upstairs and a cold downstairs.

Now for the big question: Does this work and will it help people lower their thermostat settings? The simple answer is that it depends on the house and the homeowner. For example, if the fan is over a couch in a family room, the wind chill effect created by the fan will negate any heating benefit. If it’s in a nearby foyer, however, it may be a benefit.

The best bet here is to experiment and try running the fans in reverse. If the room is more comfortable, you can turn down your thermostat and save heating dollars. If it feels cooler, or there is no difference, set the fan back to the summer setting and turn it off for the season.

If you do purchase a ceiling fan for either warm- or cold weather use, look for a model with an Energy Star-rated light kit. An Energy Star kit can cut electrical consumption by more than half. Fluorescent bulb kits also save more money than an incandescent kit.